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Hearing Aid Styles

There are a few things to consider when choosing the style of a hearing aid. Comfort, features and ease of use are part of that short list. Hear For You provides all of the information needed to help you make the best decision for your personal needs. Some models work better with one style over another, and it is important to note the differences. We will work with you to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each device, while helping you make a decision that is beneficial to your specific hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs.

Styles of hearing aids

Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the internal components. Many of today's hearing aids are considered sleek, compact and innovative – offering solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.

In the ear (ITE) 

Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. They're available in different skin tones to camouflage with the outer ear. There are several styles – each is listed below, ranging from smallest to largest.


Invisible in canal (IIC)

The custom fit of IIC makes it an ideal style for users that want privacy. Because it sits deeper in the canal provides great speech clarity and premium features while being difficult to detect with the naked eye. The IIC is a very small hearing aid, which can make it difficult to handle and cannot be equipped with as many features as some of the larger devices. This style is suitable for individuals with mild hearing loss.

CIC Completely In The Canal

Completely in canal (CIC)

This is a version of a canal device that is slightly bigger than IIC. The advantage to this style is that it is able to be fitted to more ear shapes, while still being one of the smallest hearing devices available. CIC devices are a great choice for users that prefer something discrete, but do not like the feel of an IIC hearing aid. The CIC hearing aid is ideal for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

ITC In The Canal

In the canal (ITC)

Following the custom fit of the first two, the ITC is the largest of the canal varieties. Because of that, it has the most features available to it within the canal family. ITC offers the perfect marriage of a highly advanced device, while still being easier to handle for individuals with dexterity issues. ITC hearing aids are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

Full Shell ITE

In the ear (ITE)

The ITE hearing aid is a nice in-between option for individuals looking for some privacy, but still need a device comfortable to handle. An ITE contains a custom-piece to ensure a secure fit and rests on the outer ear bowl. These devices are large enough to be equipped with a multitude of features and are suitable for individuals with mild-to-moderately-severe hearing loss.

Behind the ear

This is the largest style available, and also the one with the most features. The larger casing of the BTE hearing aid makes it the easiest to handle when changing manual controls, or when replacing dead batteries. The feature rich design is hard to miss, so for users that want privacy, this style won’t work well. This type of device is recommended for individuals with mild-to-profound hearing loss.

Receiver in the ear (RITE)

Receiver in canal (RIC)

By using the RIC style, distortion is reduced thanks to the thin electrical connections. The entire setup is slightly more visible compared to canal styles, but is quite slim and nonrevealing when actually worn. RIC styles are an open fit that remains comfortable to wear for long periods of time. For models that have removable batteries, it’s easier to handle the larger components. These devices are ideal for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.